Top of the table Sunrisers Hyderabad should see off the ailing Daredevils in Delhi, says James Buttler...
"Eight wins and only two defeats have propelled the Sunrisers two clear of Chennai Super Kings at the top. They followed their win against Delhi with a tight five-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday and arrive in Delhi with confidence sky high."
Delhi Daredevils v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Thursday May 10, 15:30
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Delhi lost to Sunrisers on Saturday by seven wickets and a repeat performance at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Thursday effectively ends any lingering hopes they had of making the Playoff stage of IPL 2018. Last season the fourth qualifying side finished the group stage on 16 points and Delhi's current tally of six points with four games to play is looking distinctly unhealthy. Delhi end their group phase with a run of home fixtures, but it's too late to save them from the exit door despite picking up four points from the six available at home earlier this season.
One man that doesn't deserve to be eliminated so soon is Rishabh Pant who has scored 393 runs in 10 innings. He looks every inch a star of the future. The 20-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman wasn't included in India's squads to tour England, but he will ultimately become an international regular. Pant's 393 tournament runs have included three fifties, but Delhi's problem is that only Shreyas Iyer with 353 runs, has rivalled him with the bat.
With the ball, only Trent Boult has performed consistently. The Kiwi has taken 13 wickets, but the next best on the list are Amit Mishra and Rahul Tewatia with six apiece.
Delhi have offered three star performers this campaign and the rest of the squad have been far too inconsistent to form a challenge for the latter stages.
Williamson the unflappable
Kane Williamson has the level head that the Sunrisers have needed this season with last season's skipper David Warner missing the tournament after Sandpaper Gate. Williamson's calm amid chaos has been exemplified by his side's ability to win tight matches. They have rarely dominated opponents, but they sit to of the IPL 2018 table because they have got into the happy habit of winning the close encounters. The Sunrisers Hyderabad have been my pick (initially at 5/1) to win the IPL and I don't see any reason to jump ship.
Eight wins and only two defeats have propelled the Sunrisers two clear of Chennai Super Kings at the top. They followed their win against Delhi with a tight five-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday and arrive in Delhi with confidence sky high.
Williamson has led the team brilliantly as skipper and also excelled with the bat. His 410 runs at an average of 51.25 have been crucial and the Hyderabad franchise must wrap him in cotton wool. The next best batsmen in the Sunrisers' line-up are Shikhar Dhawan (198), Yusuf Pathan (186) and Manish Pandey (184), so there is consistency with the willow, but Williamson is head and shoulders the Sunriser's best player.
The bowling attack is the best in the competition. Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan have 13 wickets, while Shakib Al Hasan has added 10 wickets to his 158 runs.
The Sunrisers are going to take some stopping this season. They are now 2/1 favourites to win this Indian Premier League.
Over the 10 matches played between these sides the Sunrisers have the upper hand with six wins. In Delhi's favour however, they have taken all four of their victories in the last six head-to-head encounters. Yet in the three games they have played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi the Sunrisers have won twice.
Those stats don't provide too much of a pointer, but what does is the respective form of the two sides going into this game. The Sunrisers are riding high at the top of the table and Delhi are fast becoming the perennial strugglers.
[1.72] on the Exchange is the better price for the Sunrisers victory. It's skinny, but short for a reason. That reason being they will win this match!
Other than reputation there is no obvious reason why the Betfair Boffins have made Glenn Maxwell and Colin Munro joint favourites in this market at 11/4. Your sensible punt here is with one of the two batsman that have turned up for the Daredevils this season. As already outlined Shreyas Iyer has enjoyed a good campaign and the 3/1 for him to succeed again cannot be sniffed at, but Rishabh Pant is the Dardevil in the best form and his price to top score again of 7/2 (sixth favourite) is beyond appealing - take it! A nibble on Dan Christian at 25/1 if early wickets tumble gives you cover.
I've described Kane Williamson in glowing terms and the 5/2 favourite tag here is the sensible play. He is Mr Consistency and likely to deliver again. Alex Hales had to wait for his chance this season but has been impressive in recent games and at 11/4 could lure a few away from Williamson. And a cover bet on Yusuf Pathan, priced at 14/1, is the way to go here.
At 7/4 this market is back in vogue as the tension builds towards the end of the group matches. Every run is at a premium and it's a bet that has started to come in regularly again.
James Buttler at IPL 2018
At IPL 2017
3 units Back Sunrisers Hyderabad to win @ 1.72
1 unit Back Rishabh Pant - Daredevils Top Runscorer @ 7/2 (Sportsbook)
0.5 units Back Dan Christian - Darevils Top Runscorer @ 25/1 (Sportsbook)
1 unit Back Kane Williamson - Sunrisers Top Runscorer @ 5/2 (Sportsbook)
0.5 units Back Yusuf Pathan - Sunrisers Top Runscorer @ 14/1 (Sportsbook)
1 unit Back Over 1.5 Match Run Outs @ 7/4 (Sportsbook)